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THE SITUATION ROOM
Trump Finally Raising Significant Campaign Cash; FBI Director to Testify on Clinton E-mail Probe; Corker Backs Out of V.P. Consideration; Trump Campaign Increasing Fundraising; Deadly Shootings Sparks Outraged Protests. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired July 6, 2016 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Happening now, FBI chief under oath. His criticism of Hillary Clinton, while declining to recommend charges, earns FBI Director James Comey a trip to Capitol Hill, where he'll testify about the investigation into Clinton's e-mail system.
Trashing Trump. Clinton may be bracing for more fallout over her e- mails, but for now, she's on the offensive. She's going after Donald Trump's business practices, which she says led to lost jobs, lost investments, and piles of debt.
Hitting back. As Trump slams Clinton over the e-mail scandal, saying she lied to the FBI, can a fundraising surge help him close the gap when it comes to campaign cash?
And deadly police shooting. The Justice Department investigates the killing of a black man by white police officers as graphic video of the point-black shooting sparks protests and outrage across the country.
I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Hillary Clinton is ignoring the FBI's blistering criticism of her e- mail system, at least for now. Instead, she's going on the attack targeting Donald Trump's business record.
In Atlantic City, New Jersey, Clinton today blamed Trump for the town's troubles, accusing him of multiple bankruptcies, stiffing contractors, and scoring hundreds of job losses. Trump tweeted that he made money in Atlantic City and got out while the getting was good. And he's not letting Clinton forget the e-mail scandal, saying Clinton lied to the FBI and adding her time will come.
FBI director James Comey, who said he wouldn't recommend charges against Clinton but blasted her for handling -- her handling of classified material, will testify on the e-mail investigation tomorrow morning. Aides say Clinton won't discuss the probe until after that House hearing. And her campaign is hoping the Republicans will overreach.
And video of white police officers shooting a subdued African-American suspect at point-blank range is sparking protests and nationwide rage. A federal investigation is now underway. I'll will speak with Democratic Senator Chris Murphy. And our correspondents, analysts, and guests, they'll have full coverage of the day's top stories.
Let's begin with our senior political correspondent, Brianna Keilar. Brianna, Hillary Clinton is keeping quiet, at least for now, on the e- mail scandal. Is her best most to go on the offensive against Donald Trump right now?
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: She certainly seems to think so, Wolf. Hillary Clinton hitting Trump where polls show voters think he's stronger than her, on the economy.
But she's still fending off criticism over the FBI's finding that she and aides were extremely careless with classified information over e- mail despite a move not to dii indict.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What he did here in Atlantic City is exactly what he will do if he wins in November.
KEILAR: She's still facing criticism over her e-mail practices, despite the FBI's recommendation not to prosecute. The GOP is on the offensive.
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Director Comey's presentation shredded the claims that Secretary Clinton made throughout the year with respect to this issue.
KEILAR: The Republican National Committee calling out Clinton's initial inaccurate statement with a new web video.
CLINTON: I did not e-mail any classified material to anyone on my e- mail.
COMEY: One hundred and ten e-mails in 52 e-mail chains have been determined by the Owning agency to contain classified information.
KEILAR: And House Republicans called FBI Director James Comey to testify tomorrow to explain why the government isn't charging Clinton. Donald Trump...
TRUMP: She lied!
KEILAR: ... is hitting Clinton from the trail as she tries to shift the focus back to his record in Atlantic City, where three of Trump's four bankruptcies affected businesses.
CLINTON: Contractors, many of them small businesses, took heavy losses; and many themselves went bust. But Donald Trump, he walked away with millions. And here's what he says about the whole experience. He actually brags about it.
KEILAR: Her campaign is unveiling an online video about how his companies and bankruptcies hurt small businesses.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of the people who helped build the Taj were stiffed, just got 30 cents on the dollar.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These were small businesses. If you don't pay a $100,000 bill, it puts them out of business.
KEILAR: Trump responded on Twitter, blaming local Democratic leaders, saying, "Even the once-great Caesar's is bankrupt in A.C. Others to follow. Ask the Democrat city council what happened to Atlantic City."
[17:05:05] KEILAR: And Hillary Clinton is also trying to cast herself as a middle-class warrior and contrast herself with Donald Trump, expanding her college affordability plan so that 80 percent of U.S. families would qualify for free in-state public college, Wolf.
This would be a sign that Bernie Sanders, less than three weeks from the Democratic convention, is still pulling Hillary Clinton to the left. Her college plan now looking a lot more like his plan for free college that she once derided as pie in the sky and impossible to pay for.
BLITZER: All right, Brianna. Thanks very much.
Donald Trump is raising Hillary Clinton's e-mail controversy every chance he gets, and a year after launching his campaign, he's starting to raise some serious money right now.
Let's go to our CNN political reporter, Sara Murray. Sara, no let-up in Trump's attacks against Hillary Clinton at all.
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Wolf. Donald Trump is going to be hoping to keep the pressure on Hillary over her e-mail scandal here in Cincinnati, Ohio, tonight. He wants to hammer home his idea that the system is rigged in favor of political elites like the Clintons. And this all comes at a time when Donald Trump is getting a little bit of good news. The candidate who pledged to self-fund his campaign is now getting a whole lot better at raising money.
MURRAY (voice-over): Donald Trump is finally beginning to rake in some campaign cash. The billionaire businessman announcing he raised $51 million from late May through June, in coordination with the Republican National Committee, a vast improvement from the $3.1 million he raised in May, but the total still falls short of the nearly $69 million Hillary Clinton brought in last month.
Trump turning up the heat in the money race and on the campaign trail, as he tries to prosecute his own case against Clinton.
TRUMP: Hillary Clinton can't keep her e-mails safe. And you know what, folks? She sure as hell can't keep our country safe.
MURRAY: The presumptive GOP nominee casting Clinton as a crooked politician operating above the law. That's after the FBI announced Clinton should not face charges for her e-mail practices as secretary of state. TRUMP: Stupidity is not a reason that you're innocent. And I don't
happen to believe that it was stupidity. Today is the best evidence ever of what we have seen of our system being rigged. It's absolutely, totally rigged.
MURRAY: But as Trump trains his fire on Clinton, he risks overreaching, and he suggests a shady deal, accusing Clinton of bribing Attorney General Loretta Lynch to make the e-mail scandal disappear.
TRUMP: And the attorney general is sitting there saying, you know, "If I get Hillary off the hook, I'm going to have four more years or eight more years. But if she loses, I'm out of a job." It's a bribe. It's a disgrace.
MURRAY: And today Trump is facing criticism for a separate tangent in which he praised Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi dictator who stayed in power by viciously torturing his enemies and targeting minorities.
TRUMP: Saddam Hussein was a bad guy, right? He was a bad guy. A really bad guy. But you know what he did well? He killed terrorists. He did that so good. They didn't read them rights.
Today, Iraq is Harvard for terrorism. You want to be a terrorist, you go to Iraq.
MURRAY: Meanwhile, Trump's quest for a running mate continues, as he's slated to campaign alongside former House Speaker Newt Gingrich today. But his short list is down a couple members. Tennessee Senator Bob Corker tells CNN's Manu Raju he's withdrawing his name from the running.
SEN. BOB CORKER (R), TENNESSEE: I'm more of a policy person. It's a different kind of thing to be a candidate for vice president. I just think that, you know, people like me are better suited for other kinds of things.
MURRAY: And Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, who had been under consideration for the V.P. slot, says she hasn't received vetting documents from the campaign but would be open to speaking at the GOP convention.
SEN. JONI ERNST (R), IOWA: I have offered my services, and I think it would be a nice opportunity.
MURRAY: And there's a lot of curiosity still out there about what a Donald Trump convention might look like and which of his former political rivals might speak at it. And Wolf, Donald Trump had originally said he would release that roster of convention speakers today. Now he is saying it will be tomorrow. So we'll see as he campaigns here in Ohio with Newt Gingrich. Even if Newt isn't picked for the V.P., maybe he could end up on that list of convention speakers, as well -- Wolf.
BLITZER: We look forward to getting that list of convention speakers. Sara, thank you very much for joining us.
Now Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, he's a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a very early supporter of Hillary Clinton.
Senator, thanks very much for joining us. As you know, Secretary Clinton once again today didn't talk about director -- FBI Director Comey's remarks on her use of private e-mail servers during the four years she was secretary of state. Is that a mistake to ignore the questions that are out there right now?
[17:10:08] SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D), CONNECTICUT: No. It's not a mistake, because you know, voters in Connecticut and all across the country, I think, frankly, are sick and tired of the name calling that has been at the center of this campaign, the focus on e-mails and, frankly, the lack of focus on the things that matter to them like jobs, like education, like health care.
So her focus today on whether or not Donald Trump is actually going to be a job creator or whether he's going to do what he did in Atlantic City, which was steal money from the pockets of the carpenters, the dry-wallers, and contractors, that's actually relevant to the people in my state. That's actually what they want to hear about.
And I think they'll be glad to have this manufactured controversy over her e-mail server behind us so that we can get on to something more important.
BLITZER: So are you accusing the FBI director, James Comey, of manufacturing this controversy? Because his criticism, even though he recommended against charges, his criticism was brutal.
MURPHY: No, he has a responsibility, as do the Department of Justice to do their due diligence. What has been manufactured is that the near obsessiveness of the Trump campaign and the Republicans in Congress on this issue and this issue only.
There are other important issues to the American public, aside from this very narrow one. I'm glad that the FBI took its time to do due diligence and come to the conclusion as they did that there is no enforcement action necessary on this issue. But people in my state, you know, they frankly want to be talking about things that are much more relevant to their daily lives than this controversy.
BLITZER: Because Comey, the FBI director, former U.S. attorney and former deputy attorney general of the United States, he had several scathing lines yesterday. In a statement, he said that it was extremely careless what she did, and Clinton should have known that an unclassified system was no place to carry out the conversation she engaged in and did, in fact, contain classified information that the overall security culture at the State Department, while she was secretary of state, in his words, generally lacking.
These are words of Comey, and presumably, this was going to be material that a Republican attack ad against her will focus on how worried are you about this? MURPHY: Well, I'm not worried in part, because Hillary Clinton
herself owned up to the fact that she made a mistake. She admits that she would have done it differently, and frankly, I think that's refreshing. I think it's reassuring to know that we have somebody running for the presidency that acknowledges that she hasn't been perfect.
Contrast that to Donald Trump, who in the face of multiple bankruptcies, of investigations currently of fraud at some of his businesses, has never admitted that he ever made a mistake in his life. I think that it is, frankly, a positive that Secretary Clinton made it clear that, if she had to do it over again, she'd do it differently. None of us are perfect.
And in fact, as a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, I can attest to the fact that her service as secretary of state defending this country is one of her primary assets that she's going to continue to run on over the course of this campaign.
BLITZER: But for many months, Senator, she said over and over and over again she never sent or received classified information. Yesterday the FBI director simply said that was not true. In fact some of those e-mails were actually even marked classified, and some weren't just confidential or secret or top secret, but they had even a higher security level. That's a biting criticism suggesting she was not telling the truth.
MURPHY: Well, as you know, there is a dispute between agencies about how many of these documents are classified. And at the heart of the legal determination at the Department of Justice was whether there was any intent involved in potentially putting this information at risk.
And of course, as he said, there's not a single prosecutor in the country who could come to the conclusion that there was any intent on behalf of Hillary Clinton to put these e-mails at risk.
And I think that that's what voters want to know. They wanted to know that this candidate for president, asking for the trust of this country, wasn't intending to put this sensitive material at risk. She says she would have done it differently, but the fact that there is no prosecution means that voters' answers [SIC], I think, have largely been -- voters' questions have largely been answered on this question.
BLITZER: Do you know -- I don't know if you've had a conversation with her -- what she was thinking when she became secretary of state and she decided that all of her e-mail would be done on a private server, not a U.S. government secure server? Do you know what she was thinking at the time, why she decided to do it that way?
MURPHY: Well, I know what she's explained, which is that that was a matter of convenience, that she wanted all of her e-mails to go to one place. And of course, there was precedent for that. Colin Powell, Republican secretary of state, had conducted his e-mails in the same manner.
But again, she's admitted that it was the wrong way to go. She would have done it differently in retrospect. And I think that that's at the heart of the conclusion that the prosecutors made, that there was no intent there.
[17:15:06] And listen, again, I think what will happen now is that this campaign can hopefully move on to issues that matter. And frankly, I don't think it's a coincidence that today you saw Republicans running from Donald Trump when it came to potential vice presidents, whether it be Joni Ernst or Bob Corker. With this investigation behind Hillary Clinton, she's going to be a much stronger candidate; and Donald Trump is going to have to really go out of his way to try to create this issue as a controversy to continue throughout the general election.
BLITZER: It clearly is not going away. Tomorrow morning, the FBI director, James Comey, is being called to testify before a House committee.
Stand by, Senator. We have more questions. We'll be -- we'll take a quick break. We'll be right back.
[17:20:15] BLITZER: We're back with Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut. He's a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Senator, as you know the tradition is after the two conventions, the two presidential nominees start receiving daily intelligence briefings from the CIA, including some of the most sensitive classified information. The speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, said today said Hillary should not have access to that daily intelligence briefing, because in the words of the FBI director she was extremely careless in dealing with classified information.
What's your reaction to what the speaker said?
MURPHY: Well, I think it's frankly ridiculous but to be expected. We're getting close to the election so you're going to hear more of this from Republicans.
The fact of the matter is Hillary Clinton was a United States senator, was secretary of state, did an incredible amount of great work to help keep this country safe during that time. And there's a reason why polls suggest that there's a huge gap when the American public evaluates who's better equipped to protect this country from terrorism.
Donald Trump has absolutely no filter. He leaks information like a sieve. And I, frankly, raise questions as to whether he can hold onto this classified information or whether he's going to stand up in front of one of these rallies and blurt out something that could put this country at risk.
So I think it's, you know, an unfortunate instance of Republicans trying to make some headlines for themselves. But Hillary Clinton has proven time and time again that she puts the security of the country first.
BLITZER: So are you suggesting that the CIA should not provide Donald Trump with that classified daily briefing after he's the official Republican nominee?
MURPHY: Well, I think they should at least maybe give him an elementary information into the importance of classified information and the risk he could put the country at, should he try disclose it to gain some political advantage.
She pretty clearly is putting his political and business future first and puts his country second. He's done that over and over and over again. I certainly worried that he might do that with classified information, as well.
BLITZER: Because I've spoken to high-ranking U.S. intelligence officials, who are responsible for these kinds of presidential nominee briefings, and they say they have to be even-handed. Whatever they give one, they have to give to the other. I guess the question to you is should they tone down whatever they give to Hillary Clinton in order to protect, from your perspective, the intelligence that would be shared with Donald Trump?
MURPHY: Well, I'll leave that to our intelligence officials to figure out. But what I know is that today there's an article in one of the papers about a number of high-level Republican foreign policy experts endorsing Hillary Clinton.
I suspect that part of the reason Bob Corker, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, walked away from a potential vice-presidency today is that he can't stand next to Donald Trump when it comes to his complete absence of knowledge about how to protect this nation from terrorist attack and matters of international relations.
And so I think the foreign policy establishment on the Republican side is making it pretty clear that they don't trust Donald Trump with this kind of information for the safety of this country. And I think that has to be a consideration of our intelligence officials as they're creating briefings for both of these candidates.
BLITZER: Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, thanks for joining us.
MURPHY: All right. Thanks, Wolf.
BLITZER: Donald Trump is due to release his list of convention speakers tomorrow. Does he have any big surprises in store? Our political experts, they are standing by. Much more coming up right here in THE SITUATION ROOM.
[17:28:05] BLITZER: Hillary Clinton now speaking in Atlantic City today. She had plenty to say about Donald Trump's business record, but she remained silent on the FBI's pretty sharp criticism of her use of private e-mail servers while she was secretary of state. Let's dig deeper right now with CNN political analyst Rebecca Berg.
She's national political reporter for Real Clear Politics. "Washington Post" assistant editor David Swerdlick. CNN political commentator Hillary Rosen. She's a Hillary Clinton supporter. And CNN political commentator Jeffrey Lord, who's backing Donald Trump.
Hilary Rosen, Hillary Clinton -- the other Hillary, let's talk about her. She didn't address Director Comey's very sharp criticism of her use of these private e-mail servers over four years. Is that a mistake? Should she come out and address these questions publicly?
HILARY ROSEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Here's what I think is going on right now in the Clinton campaign, which is that it was -- it's important to remind people that elections are about choices. And so by Hillary Clinton going to Atlantic City, keeping up with that planned attack on Donald Trump, his business ethics, the problems he's had with his own judgment issues, was important.
And I think at this point the campaign is just waiting to see how the furor dies down. We have Jim Comey now testifying on Capitol Hill. She will address this, but she's going to address it in a way that responds to what voters care about, not the media.
BLITZER: I assume at this point she's going to wait to hear what Comey says tomorrow morning when he testifies before this House committee, David, and then take it from there. Maybe she'll go out and do an interview or something like that, address all these important issues.
DAVID SWERDLICK, ASSISTANT EDITOR, "WASHINGTON POST": It will depend on how much heat Republicans can generate in these hearings. I think for Clinton, right, she's not running at this point by saying that she's perfect or even on issues or that she's never made mistakes. She's running on saying, "I'm not Donald Trump. Donald Trump is something, Americans, you don't want."
So she's going to, I think in the next two weeks, before the conventions, try to ride out the storm, maybe address it if she has to, but then eventually try to move past the issue.
[17:30:07] The more she talks about this, Wolf, I think the more it gives Republicans an opportunity to continue to raise questions.
BLITZER: Do you think she might just stay silent? Is that what you're saying?
SWERDLICK: There probably will be a point in the next couple of weeks where she will have to address this, but if -- were I were advising her, I'd say less is more.
BLITZER: Really? All right. That's interesting.
You know, I interviewed, Rebecca, Bernie Sanders. He's still a Democratic presidential candidate at this point. He's still a senator, a United States senator from Vermont. We spoke about Comey's very sharp criticism of Hillary Clinton and the e-mail servers. He was less than -- you know, coming to her defense. He wasn't criticizing her overly, but he wasn't enthusiastic about the whole issue. How much of a problem is it for Hillary Clinton right now? She needs that Democratic base supporting Bernie Sanders if she's going to beat Donald Trump?
REBECCA BERG, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it might not be a problem, but it certainly wasn't helpful at this stage, right? It helps to have that Democratic echo chamber out there, including someone with the influence of Bernie Sanders, to be saying that this case is closed, and let's move on. And so he did stop short of that today.
And it's interesting, because Bernie Sanders, of course, was the one who said, "Who cares about these e-mails," right, in a very public way; in a way that surprised a lot of people during the Democratic primary. And so it actually caught me by surprise that he wasn't willing to go that far today and say, "This case is closed. I think we need to move on."
But I don't doubt that he's going to get there at some point. And certainly, when he does get there, every Democrat who steps out and says that this is closed and it's over and we should move on, that's helpful to Hillary Clinton.
BLITZER: Yes. Jeffrey, what's your reaction when you heard today -- a lot of us were surprised that Bob Corker of Tennessee, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, who spent the day yesterday with Donald Trump. He was there in North Carolina with him on the -- you can see him there, the video. They were together up on the podium. He announced today he was withdrawing his name for consideration to be Donald Trump's vice-presidential running mate. Were you disappointed to hear this?
JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No. As a matter of fact, first of all, I should say I'm a Newt person. I think Newt would be a tremendous vice president for Donald Trump.
But no, I wasn't -- aside from that I wasn't disappointed. One of the finer threads in the conservative movement lately has been the, quote unquote, Corker Bill, which had to do with Iran and the Iran deal. This was very unpopular with conservatives. And frankly, I thought, as nice a guy as Senator Corker is, he would be controversial with conservatives, and that's the last thing Donald Trump needs.
BLITZER: Why do you like Newt Gingrich so much to be the vice- presidential running mate?
LORD: I think he's exactly what Donald Trump needs, in the sense that he's been on Capitol, he's been speaker, he knows the town. Plus, as you know and I know and everyone who knows him knows, he is a very smart guy. He gets more ideas in a day than most people get in six years.
He would be a tremendous asset, supplying the sort of intellectual rationale as we go along here from issue to issue. I think he'd just be tremendous. BLITZER: All right. Guys, stand by. Everybody stand by. We're just
getting started. Much more coming up. We'll take a quick break. We'll be right back.
[17:37:41] BLITZER: Donald Trump's presidential campaign is out with news that may help ease some anxiety among Republicans who are worried about his fundraising gap with Hillary Clinton. Let's talk about this.
And David, as you know, they announced, what, $51 million Trump raised for his own campaign and other Republicans last month, including the last week in May. That's pretty impressive when you think about the month before, what, it was about $3 million. Hillary Clinton raised, what, $60 million in comparison last month.
SWERDLICK: Yes, I think this does a couple things. One is it just gives him money that he needed to start rolling out a more extensive campaign across the country. He's been running on kind of a shoestring.
The other thing is that it gives him a chance to change some of the narrative, right? That his campaign is not professionally run, that he's trying to run a primary campaign in the general.
And then lastly, I think also now with this -- with the e-mail scandal surrounding scandal surrounding Secretary Clinton, it gives Trump a message that he can fundraise off of. So this is good news for Trump.
BLITZER: And last month, he gave his own campaign, what, $3.8 million. He's got a lot of money. He can self-fund a lot of that campaign if necessary, as well. How worried should the Democrats be about that, Hilary?
ROSEN: Look, I think from day one last year, Democrats assumed that whoever the Republican nominee was going to be, that they were going to be better funded than our side. It's historically been true. And there's no reason to think that this year, when you've got two non- incumbents, that it would be true again.
So look, you know, the Republicans have a money machine. Democrats are going to do their best to keep up. But you know, we're going to have the grassroots. We're going to have the energy. And we're going to have, you know, a candidate that people are excited about in the Democratic Party.
BLITZER: Impressive numbers, though, for Trump, considering the month before it was pretty dismal looking at. A nice comeback. We'll see how he does this month.
Jeffrey, Trump was supposed to announce the list of speakers at the Republican convention in Cleveland earlier today. It's now been pushed off to tomorrow. Is this late in the game in announcing a speaker lineup? What's your reaction? LORD: No, I don't really think so, Wolf. I hate to confess this, but
my first page of my first convention, I was a 17-year-old page in 1968 at the Republican convention. And I pretty well have seen these things from the bottom to the top. They can announce a speaker two hours ahead of time if they want to do it. So I really don't see any problem here with this.
BLITZER: And Rebecca, let me get your reaction. Jared Kushner, who's the son-in-law of Donald Trump, he published his own article today, insisting his father-in-law, Donald Trump, is not an anti-Semite. This in the aftermath of that tweet with the Star of David, what looked like a Star of David. Does this put all of this to rest? Jared Kushner is an orthodox Jew.
[18:40:18] BERG: Sure. Well, unfortunately for Donald Trump's campaign, I don't think this is the end of this discussion. Frankly, when someone who works for the campaign, which essentially Jared Kushner does -- he's been a top advisor to Donald Trump -- has to write an article that starts with the sentence "Donald Trump is not an anti-Semite," I think you have a problem.
This is days after this first came into the ether, and we're still having this discussion. His campaign is continuing to perpetuate this discussion. I think really, they could have ended this very quickly, just by saying, "We're sorry if we caused any offense. It wasn't intended that way." But they didn't do that, and they're still not doing that.
BLITZER: Let me let Jeffrey Lord weigh in, as well. Go ahead, Jeffrey.
LORD: Yes, there's a legitimate controversy. I wrote about this at "The American Spectator." For a lot of people, myself included, once I saw that -- that tweet, without knowing any of the controversy, I myself thought it was a sheriff's badge, because I grew up looking at six-star sheriff's badges on TV. So yes, I think there's room for dispute. But to be perfectly candid, I think this is already in the back, you know, in the rearview mirror here. Jared Kushner's a terrific guy. I think we're going to go on. We're already onto the next controversy.
ROSEN: Here's the reason why it matters going forward. It's not because Donald Trump is an anti-Semite. I'm not sure that he is either. It's that he has run a campaign based on division and based on separating people and encouraging other people to...
SWERDLICK: It's an us versus them.
ROSEN: Right. We're against Muslims or against gays and lesbians. And so people believe it. His problem is that people believe that he could be an anti-Semite, because he has run a campaign of an "us versus them."
BERG: And you're not seeing Republicans...
ROSEN: So it is harder and harder for him to convince people. BLITZER: All right. Very quickly, go ahead, Jeffrey.
LORD: Yes, I would disagree with that. I mean, I do think that Hillary Clinton is one of the most divisive political figures in American history, recent American history. So certainly, I would agree with that -- disagree with that.
BLITZER: All right. We'll continue these conversations, to be sure.
Also coming up, fresh outrage, new controversy over a deadly police shooting, all caught on camera.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And this video has been shared across the world. You will see with your own eyes how he was handled unjustly and killed without regard for the lives that he helped raise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[17:47:10] BLITZER: Following breaking news, new video has emerged of a deadly police shooting that is sparking outrage and controversy. The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division is now investigating the confrontation between a 37-year-old African-American man and two white police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
CNN's Brian Todd is working the story for us. So, Brian, we have to warn our viewers the video is very hard to watch.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The video is very hard to watch, Wolf. And tonight serious pressure from the NAACP for the Baton Rouge police chief, Carl Dabadie to step down. He is resisting that pressure tonight.
The shooting of a black man who's being subdued by two white officers has provoked outrage in the man's community has torn his family apart and tonight as Wolf mentioned the Justice Department and the FBI are on the case.
TODD (voice-over): Within just a couple of seconds the confrontation escalates. 37-year-old Alton Sterling is pinned down by two white police officers outside of the SSS Food Market in Baton Rouge.
Someone yells gun, then --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my gosh.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They sat here? My (EXPLETIVE DELETED) goodness.
TODD: A video of Tuesday morning's shooting recorded by witnesses an inside nearby car was posted on social media and sparked protests in the neighborhood.
Sterling died of multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and back. His son, Cameron Sterling, and the young man's mother, made a powerful appearance before reporters.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The individuals involved in his murder took away a man with children who depended upon their daddy on a daily basis. My son is not the youngest. He is the oldest of his siblings. He is 15 years old. He had to watch this as it was put all over the outlets.
TODD: Abdullah Muflahi, the owner of the SSS Food Mart, says he allowed Sterling to sell CDs and DVDs outside his store and says he never saw Sterling get into a confrontation with anyone. Muflahi says he's not aware of any incident on Tuesday morning which would have prompted a 911 call from someone saying Sterling had threatened them with a gun.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He sells CDs on the corner then he pointed the gun at him and said he could not be around here.
TODD: The store owner who says he witnessed the shooting says the officers slammed Sterling against a car and tased him before shooting him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I did not see.
[17:50:03] TODD: Muflahi says the officers pulled a gun out of Sterling's pocket. The two officers involved have not been on the Baton Rouge police force for very long. One for three years, one for four. The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division is leading investigation. The FBI and U.S. attorney's office are also involved. Louisiana Congressman Cedric Richmond has been pressuring the feds to take on the case.
(On camera): What are the unanswered questions that you have that you think need to be answered right now?
REP. CEDRIC RICHMOND (D), LOUISIANA; Well, one, if he was tased. What happened when he was tasered? Two, was he reaching for a gun? Three, where was the gun? Four, what type of treatment did you give him after he was shot?
TODD: Now some key answers in this investigation could come from the remaining video footage. There is surveillance footage from the SSS Food Mart and possibly from body camera footage from the two officers. Police said the officers were wearing body cameras at the time but that the cameras came off during the struggle. But police do say the cameras did continue to record. All the footage is now on the hands of federal investigators -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right. Brian, thanks very much.
Let's get some more. Joining us is the president and CEO of the NAACP, Cornell William Brooks. Cornell, thanks for joining us. As you just heard the Justice
Department Civil Rights Division will get involved in this investigation. What's the reaction of the NAACP to what you have seen and what you've learned so far?
CORNELL WILLIAM BROOKS, PRESIDENT AND CEO, NAACP: Our reaction is one grief and determination. I'm reminded at this moment of these words. The butchering continues despite plea and protest. Those are not words from 2016 but rather words from 1909 by founder of the NAACP, Ida B. Wells, who spoke out against a former racialized violence called lynching. Just like we brought lynching to an end in the last century, we have to bring about an end to this form of racialized violence called police misconduct.
So our reaction is one of determination. Our branch, the president and members on the ground are responding in force. They are calling for demonstrations for an extended period of time. They've reached out to law enforcement as we have. I should say reached out to the authorities to conduct investigations that are thorough, that are transparent, that are comprehensive and that are timely. Both state and federal.
So we're heartened by the intervention of the Justice Department but beyond that, Wolf, we have seen this ugly situation again and again. This is the latest horrific video and hashtag tragedy that over the course of the last several years. When a young black man is 21 times more likely to lose his life at the hands of the police and his white counterpart, when we have 1,000 people who lose their lives in police custody in a given year, this is a moment where we have to say enough is enough.
BLITZER: Let me --
BROOKS: We can't continue to watch these videos.
BLITZER: Cornell, let me go to bigger framework for you. The city of Baton Rouge, city of about 230,000 people, about half of the population of Baton Rouge is African-American. The Baton Rouge advocates says the police force is about two-thirds white. One-third African-American. Is that OK from your perspective?
BROOKS: It is not OK because the police force should be broadly representative of the community. This is not a call for quotas but it is a call for diversity. With that police department and others in surrounding jurisdictions have had this problem of not having a police force that represents the community. We see challenges with these kinds of police departments all around the country. We've seen police departments under consent decrees where they are supposed to reach out to community and hide virtually and they have not.
So we need not wait to a tragedy before we respond. We've certainly seen the Justice Department work with police departments to ensure that they modernize their policing practices and they diversify their police forces. But beyond that, we need a fundamental change in policing. The president has issued his recommendations in terms of the 21st
citizen task force on policing. Certainly the Justice Department has lifted up certain protocols. We have law enforcement agencies that know what to do. At the end of the day we've got to develop the political will to respond to this problem. Because we got to be clear about this. We cannot continue to gather around TV cameras while our fellow citizens are literally taken out.
These videos represent a kind of snuff film of our times where we see human beings literally losing their lives. In this video, no. We have two officers that appear to have a young man pinned to the ground who has been tased, who appears to be subdued, who has two bullets fired into his chest and thereafter.
[7:55:08] There at least three other shots fired. This is a moment of outrage but beyond outrage, we've got to call the country to action. That means Congress passing the end racial profiling act.
BLITZER: All right.
BROOKS: It means both presidential candidates having -- running on platforms of addressing police misconduct. We have not seen that as robustly as we should have here to forth. We need to see that.
BLITZER: All right. Cornell William Brooks is the president and CEO of the NAACP. I know you're heading to Baton Rouge later in the week as well. We'll stay in very close touch with you. Thanks for joining us.
BROOKS: Thank you.
BLITZER: Coming up, the FBI Director James Comey will slam Hillary Clinton's handling of classified information testify before a Republican-led congressional panel tomorrow morning. So why is Hillary Clinton keeping quiet at least for now on the matters?